Davis Mac-Iyalla: Nigerian LGBTQ activist's installation as chief in Ghana reversed
The popular Nigerian born British LGBTQIA+ rights campaigner, Davis Mac-Iyalla who was installed as a traditional chief at Yamonransa in the Central Region of Ghana at the weekend is no longer a chief.
The chiefs have stripped him of that title and reversed his installation on the grounds that he did not reveal his true identity to them.
According to the chiefs, they had known him only as Kweku Adu, a resident of Cape Coast for the past 10 years but only got to know that he was also known as Davis Mac-Iyalla, an LGBTQIA+ rights activist only a few moments to the installation at the weekend.
In view of that, they have decided to reverse the process and that Mac-Iyalla cannot refer to himself as a chief anymore.
"During the process of his installation as Amankorehen, (Nkosuohen - Development chief), information came that Kweku Adu is also known as Davis Mac-Iyalla and has been supporting LGBTQIA+ and it's related activities," the chiefs said at a press conference on Tuesday (January 31, 2023).
“Immediately this information came to our attention, we called for the whole process of Mac-Iyalla to be halted. We wish to state that no title has been conferred on him as Amankorehen of Yamonranza in view of the latest information about him and does not carry any such title as Amankorehen," they said.
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Graphic Online's Shirley Asiedu-Addo reports from Cape Coast that following the uproar that followed the installation of Davis Mac-Iyalla as Amankorehen of the Nkusukum Traditional Area in the Central Region. the Traditional Council has retreated from the action saying Mac-Iyalla is not yet conferred with the title.
The popular gay activist was outdoored at a ceremony at Yamonransa at the weekend under the stool name Nana Kweku Gyasi I.
But at a press conference Tuesday, Nana Okese Esandoh IX, Paramount chief of the Nkusukum Traditional Area said the traditional council was not aware that Mac-Iyalla was a gay activist and had thus refrained from conferring that chieftaincy title on him.
“We wish to state that no title has been conferred on him as Amankorehen of Yamonransa in view of the latest information that reached us about him and does not carry any such title as Amankorehen” he stated.
He explained that he got to know Mac-Iyalla through some friends in Cape Coast who recommended that he had been supportive with developmental projects.
He said he discussed the issues with the Ebusuapayin (family head) of Yamonransa to install him as Amankorehen to help with the area’s development.
Among others he indicated that the Amankorehen was to organise the African-American people who have traced their roots to Yamonransa to support the area’s development.
Dedication to development
Nana Esandoh admitted that Mac-Iyalla had shown some dedication and commitment to the development of the area.
“His broader vision to attract investors from America and Europe, particularly the United Kingdom to boost economic activities is great,” he stated.
Nana Esandoh said it was during the process of installation that the information came that the man they knew as “Kweku Adu” was also known as Davis Mac-Iyalla.
Immediately after the information reached them the final processes of his installation was halted.
The ceremony on Saturday to outdoor Mac-Iyalla was attended by several traditional authorities from Osu in Accra, Elmina, Mankessim and Cape Coast.
There was also some police presence that mostly guided the precessions to ensure safety.
Video: When Gay rights activist Davis Mac Iyalla fell down from Palanquin during installation as chief https://t.co/rDWzje8dY9 pic.twitter.com/inqK7dNqkv— GraphicOnline (@Graphicgh) January 29, 2023
Nana Kwesi Gyasi was carried in a palanquin through the Yamonransa township pouring schnapps along the route.
The palanquin ride was not too smooth as he fell off the palanquin to the ground on his way to the durbar grounds.
On reaching the grounds, Nana Gyasi together with the paramount chief Nana Okese Esandoh were held in an engagement with police officials for about an hour before the proceedings continued with an amended programme lineup.
The swearing of oath of allegiance to the Omanhen in state on the initial programme lineup was cancelled.
Mac-Iyalla in his address said he had completed all traditional formalities saying he was now a chief.
He said he was born Nigerian but now a British citizen saying by “the grace of God I practice what I preach that is human rights for all persons. I don’t believe in discrimination. Whether you are tall, short black, white, yellow or green you are a human being and I will fight for that my belief to the very end. No matter what it cost me. I am not a hypocrite and I will not start now to be a hypocrite. You don’t need to like me but you have to respect my views,” he stated.
He explained that he came to know the Omanhen in April 2022 when the Omanhen had been in a chieftaincy dispute for 13years.
He said soon after knowing him (the Omanhen) they worked to ensure he was gazetted in December 2022 and sworn into the regional house of chiefs.
Stopping the ceremony
“People were trying to stop the ceremony,” he stated saying that many who tried to stop the ceremony saying some of the same people had made foreigners chiefs and benefited from it.
“I am a man of action. When I enter somewhere I bring change. Whenever I enter anywhere if I say I want to do something I do it and I do it very well.
He said people who would use him to fight the Omanhen were in for a long battle.
He said he belonged to Nkusukum Yamonransa and nobody can take it away from me. Let us not waste time. Let us celebrate and enjoy. I have completed the process as a chief,” he added.
News of his installation on various social media received a lot of attention with many criticizing the chiefs for installing him.
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